The drafting yesterday turned the bike leg into a farce. Its the first time I've really noticed the drafting, since I was coming from behind riding for a team. At one point I turned round and would have had a group of at least 40 behind me, I doubt more than 3 or 4 of them had a 7m gap. I didn't really care, the only guys I was racing against were either up the road or trying to chase me down, and none of us would have got that much help in the teams race by drafting, since the groups we were catching were not riding the kind of times I personally was looking for. But its interesting to see how many people out there were happy to sit in and take the easy ride. Most frustrating is when the guys sitting behind ride over the top when they see the motorbike coming and then pull in a metre ahead, you have to sit up to try and get a legal gap and then they slow down because they can't hold the pace. What a joke. Of the 40 people in and around me yesterday, I can tell you by bike brand which guys (and one girl) were strong enough to have held that pace, or close to it, on their own and which guys were sitting in and putting on the odd 30 second effort for the benefit of the TOs. I saw ONE guy getting pinged - he was drafting clearly but then still had a big sook at the TO. In some ways, I can understand him complaining that EVERYONE else is doing it and only he gets pinged. There was NO consistency at all.
I don't think anyone can expect people to give a 7m gap up through the Botanic Gardens, or up the climb out of transition, since its such a bottleneck - maybe that bit of the course needs to be looked at because there were times when guys that were clearly faster were being held up through there, then once it got out to the open road the bunch was just sitting behind the faster guys in the "group". It must be frustrating as an AGer trying to race within the rules to turn round and see other guys saving their energy for the run and/or getting a faster bike time than they could ever do solo.
I think a lot of people need to take a hard look at themselves and ask if they REALLY didn't draft yesterday. Its not like anyone was racing for a Hawaii spot, or money, other than the pros. So if you're only cheating yourself, why bother?